Saturday, November 13, 2010

mortal sunset

1 1/2 oz Rye Whiskey (Old Overholt)
1/2 oz Black Tea Maple Syrup (2 part Maple:1 part Tea) (Oolong Tea)
1/2 oz Cynar
1/2 oz Orange Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a floated orange wheel and drizzle a dash of Cherry Heering on top of it.

Last Saturday night, I turned to the September/October 2010 issue of Imbibe to make Chantal Tseng's Mortal Sunset. Andrea and I met Chantal at Tales of the Cocktail back in 2009; while we have not made it down to Washington, D.C., to visit the Tabard Inn, we can at least sample one of her recipes in the mean time. And how could we not be drawn to this recipe for it includes two of our favorite ingredients, namely tea and the bitter liqueur Cynar?
In making the drink, I had problems with the Cherry Heering staying on top of the orange garnish. The orange wheel in the magazine's picture looks more like a dried or partially dried one so their Cherry Heering stayed in the pocketed regions instead of rolling off and sinking to the bottom like ours did (*). Otherwise, in our drink, there was still enough Cherry Heering on the surface to make a significant contribution to the nose along with orange and something herbal form the Cynar. The sip was mostly about the rye-maple pairing followed by the Cynar on the swallow; this combination came across almost as a blended Scotch note. The orange juice appeared as a very smooth and subtle citrus flavor that worked to round out the drink. We pondered a bit about the tea component and figured that it merged with the Cynar on the swallow. Andrea commented that the Mortal Sunset "is a very ambitious drink" -- it has a sweet aspect to it but a sharpness as well. Moreover, it would probably make a good introduction to rye for people who think they do not like it.

(*) Postnote: the orange wheel was most likely candied such as by this recipe.


Craig said...

Tasty. I didn't have the patience to whip up a special tea syrup, so I just thinned about some maple syrup with hot water and shook the heck out of the drink. I also skipped the garnish, but there was still a faint cherry flavor.

frederic said...

We didn't make up a special syrup. I just made up a double-strength (half the water) steeping of tea, and added one part of it to two parts of maple syrup right into the mixing glass.